Moderator - Board of Elders
Prayer, Leadership Development, Bold Outreach, Discipleship
Our God is faithful at all times. Even through a full year of COVID restrictions, 2021 saw God leading Westwood through challenges and He has opened a window on new ministry -- more on that later.
The limits placed on worship gatherings this past year, including full closures, put the Board of Elders between a rock and a hard place at times. We leaned into prayer even more, seeking answers, wisdom and direction. Our Pastoral team poured themselves into their ministries, selflessly adjusting to meet the needs of the congregation...
WE CELEBRATE HOW GOD IS WORKING!
Strategic Priorities: PRAY
“One highlight was the way I got to see the youth leaders pray for the youth. It has happened on multiple occasions that youth leaders would have a student on their heart in prayer and learn after the fact of a situation that the Holy Spirit had them praying for!”
In 2021, we implemented a prayer piece into each of our Sunday worship service outlines, with the intention of praying into the unity of the church of Prince George. We reach out to city churches and ministries, letting them know we are praying for them and asking for specific requests. Our churches need the prayer support and it is making a difference!
Strategic Priorities:MAKE DISCIPLES
“The youth worship team has really started to play as a band and they no longer need me to run the practice or run songs with them, they are doing it all on their own! It has been really cool to see leaders in the band step up and take charge!”
“2021 was a year of discovery as I learned a lot of new things about myself. I witnessed God working in my life as He gave me the courage to be more vulnerable and have difficult conversations that I would have normally avoided. I am trusting God for ongoing wisdom and courage to tackle challenges as they arise.”
“2021 was a mix of blessings and challenges. We could see that God had his hand on everything. We know there is a reason we are passing through some of our challenges and believe that God is using it for our best. We witnessed God working in a lot of the ministries that we are personally involved in, especially in both Life Groups of which we are a part. These groups were a tremendous source of encouragement to us. Even though it has been a hard year, losing loved ones, the encouragement we received from those around us was so good for us. God is good all the time. He is a good, good Father. We are trusting God to give us a clear direction for our lives and for the ministries in our church."
"Last year, I felt pretty challenged in terms of leading worship in an empty room. I felt led to consider the basics of corporate worship, and encouraging (or discipling) our congregation. I began to lead my team and our congregation with a desire for all of us to remember God’s goodness. I felt that, for those engaging online, or for those who attended an in-person service during the months we were able to do that, it was crucial for us to turn our eyes to the Lord together, remembering who He has been, is, and will be, despite what our world looked or felt like amidst the pandemic. This wasn’t something new that I thought I’d try, but I discovered through different challenges that this was really at the heart of a believers’ gathering. Even though we weren’t gathering the way we desired, it was a timeless truth that I clung to personally and I felt it would help the church as a whole as we processed every step of the pandemic together."
A note from Pastor Robin to our Life Group Leaders…
“We simply want to give the deepest of thanks to all our Life Group leaders – twenty people – for their faithful pressing on in discipling/leading their group members. You have done the heavy lifting, both in the weeks you have felt strong and in those when you have felt weak. You have invited your members to help you. May the Lord bless you for your work in his church. There is an older couple in our church who have been faithfully discipled and have led others for years, including in Life Groups. Now, they are pouring their lives into discipling their grandson as he navigates this very hard world our young adults are living in. They are walking with him daily, teaching him how to depend on Jesus in practical situations, and modelling unfailing love. It is simply beautiful. Our Life Groups have many grandparents in them, doing likewise.”
Strategic Priorities:BOLD OUTREACH
“Playing ball Hockey at the MCC Apartments was a huge highlight! We are excited to do lots more with them in the future.”
Did you know...
...that we have Westwooders in the marketplace who hold weekly Bible studies and prayer times with colleagues seeking answers to their faith questions?
...that one of our university student puts a sign on their study table at UNBC that says, “do you want to play crib?” Guess what happens? Students sit down, play a game, and conversation ensues about faith and life!
Hello Westwood Family!
I write to you from a coffee shop in North Africa. Why am I here, you may ask? Well, simply put, I felt Jesus invite me here. I’ve had a growing groaning heart for the Middle East since I first visited in 2017 and recently, I’ve felt the Lord invite me to “come and see.” As I read through the Gospel of John and Revelation, I saw this gentle and generous invitation highlighted and extended to me for this trip.
I'll be back in Canada at the end of February and from there I will make decisions and preparations for what’s next. Once home, I’d love to connect and chat with anyone who wants to hear more. Thank you for praying for me and encouraging me to hear God and follow him. It means more than you know.
Until next time,
Strategic Priorities:DEVELOP LEADERS
Did you know...
... that we have five young adults deepening their biblical and spiritual foundations and exploring further ministry?
- Emily Rogers – Columbia Bible College
- Mitch Nikkel – Columbia Bible College
- Adriana Dyck - Prairie Bible College
- Malia Dyck – Capernwray Hall Bible School
- Nolan Hanson – Mennonite Brethren Seminary
... that Westwood Church supports our Bible College/Seminary students with prayer, leadership opportunities, and financial bursaries?
Children's Ministry Leader
YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY
Young Adults & Online Ministries Pastor
Ministry reports can be a struggle to write. Especially during a pandemic. What is God doing? What is happening with our church family? What do our online numbers really indicate? What has happened to our young adults? Where is everybody?
When young adults started this past year, we were meeting in room 203 and could have anywhere from 12-20 young adults in attendance. We were growing. Our focus was on practices of prayer and worship, bible study, and life application. We had young adults attending...
Life Group Ministry Pastor
Our formal Care Ministries in 2021 have been primarily expressions of discipleship and prayer.
During 2021, the Meal Train was used nine times – thank you, cooks and bakers! The Moving Team/Essential Repairs Team was on hand but had no requests – thanks for remaining available, folks! Thank you to Sylvia and Del Reinheimer for continuing to ably head up these coordinated practical acts of care. There have been innumerable instances of the Westwood people of God sending cards, listening, bringing soup, holding babies, driving people to appointments, mowing lawns and shovelling snow(!) which happen quietly behind the scenes all year long...
Young Adult & Online Ministry Pastor
When we were forced online at the start of the pandemic it was a scramble to get things up and running. This past year has been one of continued learning and growth for our whole team. The beauty of this past year was being able to develop a rhythm as a worship team, speaking team, and production team. I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who was part of bringing our services online. It would not have happened without our amazing volunteers. A special thanks to Jenny Baerg, who was essential in bringing words to screens and homes.
In this coming year we will continue to work on improving the quality of the live-stream and building our team of volunteers. Thanks so much to Life Church for the Church Online Platform that they allow us to use at no cost.
Some online stats our church family may find interesting:
NEW MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES
We are excited to announce church planting in MCC apartments!
Westwood Church Board of Elders together with Pastors Rob and Ryan have been exploring disciplemaking and church planting in Prince George since fall 2019. With the significant ministry favour God has granted to Westwood Church within the MCC Apartments over the past seven plus years, the Board of Elders has affirmed a direction that would see intentional church planting efforts happen within the apartments. A God sized vision is to see every apartment complex under the umbrella of MCC Legacy have a healthy church plant functioning under Westwood’s oversight in the coming years! Imagine that! With four partners coming together to pursue this dream (Westwood Church, MCC Legacy, MCC, and Message Canada), we believe we can continue to see God’s kingdom to bear throughout our city!
To catch the vision for this new ministry initiative, come to an in person or online worship service, as we focus on "Moving into the Neighbourhood", on February 13, 20, and 27!
While we seek to hold our plans with open hands, here are a few staff ministry goals moving forward…
… in discipleship. There’s hope that the pandemic is nearing a shift, and we might be able to see life beyond. If and when we do that, I know that many will be desiring to “rebuild,” either their spiritual life, or their engagement in the local church, or working on finding healing from fractured relationships, or…the list goes on. How can I, through my leadership in my ministry and as a disciple, walk alongside others as we begin to heal? (Pastor Corinne)
… investing more deeply with our relationship with kids at the MCC Apartments and with the street community downtown. (Pastor David)
… new ways to connect with kids individually (hopefully in person), while supporting our parents to actively engage in the spiritual parenting process as they disciple their children. (Twyla Morgan)
… that a small team of individuals might be called to “move in” to the MCC Apartments and join Nolan and Emily Hanson in planting a church. (Pastor Ryan)
… that a long-term plan for Dufferin Apartments be clarified. (Pastor Rob)
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVANT LEADERSHIP!
We pay tribute to Johannes who served in many leadership roles at Westwood for the past thirty years. His gifts of time, teaching, generosity, wisdom, and no-nonsense leadership have benefitted our church family greatly. While he left us too early, we are grateful for his love for Jesus, his commitment to his family, and his passion to serve his church family. Until we meet again!
Jared and I have three kids, two in elementary school and one in high school. We have been at Westwood for almost 7 years. I have been involved with Life Groups, Prayer Ministry and Children's and Youth Ministries. I have a passion to see people loved and cared for so that they can meet Jesus. We love how welcomed and accepted we felt from the first day we arrived at Westwood. I appreciate the connections I have made and the friendships I have been able to develop with many different generations...
Sandra and I have been attending Westwood regularly since 1997 and formally committed to membership twenty years ago. During those years we have been involved in Children's and Youth ministry, have hosted and led bible studies as well as been involved in many special events such as Dessert Concerts and Church in the Park. I have personally been on a Westwood missions trip to Thailand, have been an elder in the past, am currently chairing the finance team, as well as served as the church administrator...
- Rob Larson is currently the interim chair of the finance team.
- God continues to bless Westwood Church through His people.
- Giving has gone down slightly in the past 2 years.
- Spending was slightly higher in 2021 compared to 2020 as the online presence has become a focus and most staffing has returned to pre-COVID levels.
- There were still some savings in staffing, as well as gas and electricity savings.
- From the reserve fund, we completed the approved auditorium renovations which included replacing old acoustic panels, painting walls and replacing chair rails.
- A big unexpected expense in 2021 was an increase of our insurance coverage from $16,000 to $35,573.
- Expenses for 2022 are expected to increase as we look forward to in-person services and full staffing for 2022.
- In 2021 we had no rental income, but in 2022 we expect to start renting our building which will increase our income.
- We have a substantial amount in the reserve account, and will look at ways to be fiscally responsible with this.